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The Minnesota State Patrol said a Woodbury man freed a motorist trapped inside this vehicle as it burned. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota State Patrol)

‘Call it leverage’: Area man uses bare hands to free victim in burning SUV

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Robert Renning can only guess how he summoned the strength to peel back a door on a burning car.

So if he had to attribute the lifesaving feat to anything, the Woodbury man said he’d put it on his job.


“I’m a mechanical engineer by trade,” the 52-year-old said, “so let’s call it leverage.”

Whatever the means, Minnesota State Patrol troopers are crediting Renning’s actions last month with saving the life of Minneapolis man Michael Johannes.

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